Article

Wittgenstein on Intuition, Rule-Following, and Certainty: Exchanges with Brouwer and Russell

Kim van Gennip

in The Oxford Handbook of Wittgenstein

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199287505
Published online January 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199287505.003.0026

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Wittgenstein on Intuition, Rule-Following, and Certainty: Exchanges with Brouwer and Russell

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This article focuses on the debate on perception or intuition between Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein as constructed largely from ‘The Limits of Empiricism’ and ‘Cause and Effect: Intuitive Awareness’. In consulting several Nachlass items as written in 1935–1936, it shows, first, that Wittgenstein puts forward a detailed criticism of Russell's account of perception, as Russell presents it in the context of a discussion on causation. This criticism is interesting in that it leads up to an account of knowledge and certainty that foreshadows the position known from On Certainty. In addition, the article demonstrates that a crucial element in Wittgenstein's critique of Russell is similar to his critique of L. E. J. Brouwer's intuitionist stance in mathematics, a criticism that Wittgenstein expressed in the early 1930s. Russell presents an account of the relation between sense experience and knowledge that should produce propositions functioning as examples of our most immediate knowledge.

Keywords: Bertrand Russell; perception; intuition; Ludwig Wittgenstein; The Limits of Empiricism; certainty; L. E. J. Brouwer; causation; knowledge; sense experience

Article.  13024 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

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